Specific activity of phosphorus in mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants in relation to the availability of phosphorus to plants

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Abstract

Phosphate was allowed to react with a soil to which iron hydroxide had been added. The P was then labelled by a subsequent addition of 32P. Soil P was extracted by 10 mm CaCl2, 0.5 m NaHCO3, and acid NH4F solutions and the specific activity of P in the extracts was measured. Subterranean clover plants were grown both with and without a mycorrhizal fungus. Phosphorus contents and the specific activities of P in the plant shoots were determined. For mycorrhizal plants, adding iron hydroxide had no effect on the amount of P taken up, but for non-mycorrhizal plants it decreased the uptake. However there was no effect of iron hydroxide or of mycorrhizal infection on the specific activity of P in the plants. Adding iron hydroxide had no effect on the amount of P extracted by acid NH4F, but decreased the P extracted by 10mm CaCl2 and by 0.5 m NaHCO3. The specific activity of P in the extracts was not affected by the addition of iron hydroxide and was the same for the three extractants. Further, the specific activity of P in all extractants was similar to that of P in both mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants. Thus differences in the availability of soil P to mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants and to the extractants were not reflected by differences in labelling. It therefore follows that lack of difference in specific activity between mycorrhizal and non-mycorrhizal plants does not eliminate the possibility that mycorrhizal plants can obtain P that was unavailable to non-mycorrhizal plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
JournalSoil Biology and Biochemistry
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1984

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